Mistborn the final empi.., p.15
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       Mistborn: The Final Empire, p.15

         Part #1 of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
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Page 15

  “A second Mistborn on the team…” Ham said appreciatively. “Well, that increases our chances somewhat. ”

  “What are you saying?” Yeden sputtered. “Skaa can’t be Mistborn. I’m not even sure if Mistborn exist! I’ve certainly never met one. ”

  Breeze raised an eyebrow, then laid a hand on Yeden’s shoulder. “You should try not to talk so much, friend,” he suggested. “You’ll sound far less stupid that way. ”

  Yeden shook off Breeze’s hand, and Ham laughed. Vin, however, sat quietly, considering the implications of what Kelsier had said. The part about stealing the atium reserves was tempting, but seizing the city to do it? Were these men really that reckless?

  Kelsier pulled a chair over to the table for himself and sat down on it the wrong way, resting his arms on the seatback. “All right,” he said. “We have a crew. We’ll plan speci?cs at the next meeting, but I want you all to be thinking about the job. I have some plans, but I want fresh minds to consider our task. We’ll need to discuss ways to get the Luthadel Garrison out of the city, and ways that we can throw this place into so much chaos that the Great Houses can’t mobilize their forces to stop Yeden’s army when it attacks. ”

  The members of the group, save Yeden, nodded.

  “Before we end for the evening, however,” Kelsier continued, “there is one more part of the plan I want to warn you about. ”

  “More?” Breeze asked with a chuckle. “Stealing the Lord Ruler’s fortune and overthrowing his empire aren’t enough?”

  “No,” Kelsier said. “If I can, I’m going to kill him too. ”


  “Kelsier,” Ham said slowly. “The Lord Ruler is the Sliver of In?nity. He’s a piece of God Himself. You can’t kill him. Even capturing him will probably prove impossible. ”

  Kelsier didn’t reply. His eyes, however, were determined.

  That’s it, Vin thought. He has to be insane.

  “The Lord Ruler and I,” Kelsier said quietly, “we have an unsettled debt. He took Mare from me, and he nearly took my own sanity as well. I’ll admit to you all that part of my reason for this plan is to get revenge on him. We’re going to take his government, his home, and his fortune from him.

  “However, for that to work, we’ll have to get rid of him. Perhaps imprison him in his own dungeons—at the very least, we’ll have to get him out of the city. However, I can think of something far better than either option. Down those pits where he sent me, I Snapped and came to an awakening of my Allomantic powers. Now I intend to use them to kill him. ”

  Kelsier reached into his suit pocket and pulled something out. He set it on the table.

  “In the north, they have a legend,” Kelsier said. “It teaches that the Lord Ruler isn’t immortal—not completely. They say he can be killed with the right metal. The Eleventh Metal. That metal. ”

  Eyes turned toward the object on the table. It was a thin bar of metal, perhaps as long and wide as Vin’s small ?nger, with straight sides. It was silvery white in color.

  “The Eleventh Metal?” Breeze asked uncertainly. “I’ve heard of no such legend. ”

  “The Lord Ruler has suppressed it,” Kelsier said. “But it can still be found, if you know where to look. Allomantic theory teaches of ten metals: the eight basic metals, and the two high metals. There is another one, however, unknown to most. One far more powerful, even, than the other ten. ”

  Breeze frowned skeptically.

  Yeden, however, appeared intrigued. “And, this metal can somehow kill the Lord Ruler?”

  Kelsier nodded. “It’s his weakness. The Steel Ministry wants you to believe that he’s immortal, but even he can be killed—by an Allomancer burning this. ”

  Ham reached out, picking up the thin bar of metal. “Where did you get it?”

  “In the north,” Kelsier said. “In a land near the Far Peninsula, a land where people still remember what their old kingdom was called in the days before the Ascension. ”

  “How does it work?” Breeze asked.

  “I’m not sure,” Kelsier said frankly. “But I intend to ?nd out. ”

  Ham regarded the porcelain-colored metal, turning it over his ?ngers.

  Kill the Lord Ruler? Vin thought. The Lord Ruler was a force, like the winds or the mists. One did not kill such things. They didn’t live, really. They simply were.

  “Regardless,” Kelsier said, accepting the metal back from Ham, “you don’t need to worry about this. Killing the Lord Ruler is my task. If it proves impossible, we’ll settle for tricking him outside of the city, then robbing him silly. I just thought that you should know what I’m planning. ”

  I’ve bound myself to a madman, Vin thought with resignation. But that didn’t really matter—not as long as he taught her Allomancy.

  I don’t even understand what I’m supposed to do. The Terris philosophers claim that I’ll know my duty when the time comes, but that’s a small comfort.

  The Deepness must be destroyed, and apparently I’m the only one who can do so. It ravages the world even now. If I don’t stop it soon, there will be nothing left of this land but bones and dust.


  “AHA!” KELSIER’S TRIUMPHANT FIGURE POPPED up from behind Camon’s bar, a look of satisfaction on his face. He brought his arm up and thunked a dusty wine bottle down on the countertop.

  Dockson looked over with amusement. “Where’d you ?nd it?”

  “One of the secret drawers,” Kelsier said, dusting off the bottle.

  “I thought I’d found all of those,” Dockson said.

  “You did. One of them had a false back. ”

  Dockson chuckled. “Clever. ”

  Kelsier nodded, unstoppering the bottle and pouring out three cups. “The trick is to never stop looking. There’s always another secret. ” He gathered up the three cups and walked over to join Vin and Dockson at the table.

  Vin accepted her cup with a tentative hand. The meeting had ended a short time earlier, Breeze, Ham, and Yeden leaving to ponder the things Kelsier had told them. Vin felt that she should have left as well, but she had nowhere to go. Dockson and Kelsier seemed to take it for granted that she would remain with them.

  Kelsier took a long sip of the rubicund wine, then smiled. “Ah, that’s much better. ”

  Dockson nodded in agreement, but Vin didn’t taste her own drink.

  “We’re going to need another Smoker,” Dockson noted.

  Kelsier nodded. “The others seemed to take it well, though. ”

  “Breeze is still uncertain,” Dockson said.

  “He won’t back out. Breeze likes a challenge, and he’ll never ?nd a challenge greater than this one. ” Kelsier smiled. “Besides, it’d drive him insane to know that we were pulling a job that he wasn’t in on. ”

  “Still, he’s right to be apprehensive,” Dockson said. “I’m a little worried myself. ”

  Kelsier nodded his agreement, and Vin frowned. So, are they serious about the plan? Or is this still a show for my sake? The two men seemed so competent. Yet, overthrowing the Final Empire? They’d sooner stop the mists from ?owing or the sun from rising.

  “When do your other friends get here?” Dockson asked.

  “A couple days,” Kelsier said. “We’ll need to have another Smoker by then. I’m also going to need some more atium. ”

  Dockson frowned. “Already?”

  Kelsier nodded. “I spent most of it buying OreSeur’s Contract, then used my last bit at Tresting’s plantation. ”

  Tresting. The nobleman who had been killed in his manor the week before. How was Kelsier involved? And, what was it Kelsier said before about atium? He’d claimed that the Lord Ruler kept control of the high nobility by maintaining a monopoly on the metal.

  Dockson rubbed his bearded chin. “Atium’s not easy to come by, Kell. It took nearly eight months of planning to steal you that last bit. ”

  “That’s because you had to be delicate,” Kelsier said with a devio
us smile.

  Dockson eyed Kelsier with a look of slight apprehension. Kelsier just smiled more broadly, and ?nally Dockson rolled his eyes, sighing. Then he glanced at Vin. “You haven’t touched your drink. ”

  Vin shook her head.

  Dockson waited for an explanation, and eventually Vin was forced to respond. “I don’t like to drink anything I didn’t prepare myself. ”

  Kelsier chuckled. “She reminds me of Vent. ”

  “Vent?” Dockson said with a snort. “The lass is a bit paranoid, but she’s not that bad. I swear, that man was so jumpy that his own heartbeat could startle him. ”

  The two men shared a laugh. Vin, however, was only made more uncomfortable by the friendly air. What do they expect from me? Am I to be an apprentice of some sort?

  “Well, then,” Dockson said, “are you going to tell me how you plan on getting yourself some atium?”

  Kelsier opened his mouth to respond, but the stairs clattered with the sound of someone coming down. Kelsier and Dockson turned; Vin, of course, had seated herself so she could see both entrances to the room without having to move.

  Vin expected the newcomer to be one of Camon’s crewmembers, sent to see if Kelsier was done with the lair yet. Therefore, she was completely surprised when the door swung open to reveal the surly, gnarled face of the man called Clubs.

  Kelsier smiled, eyes twinkling.

  He’s not surprised. Pleased, perhaps, but not surprised.

  “Clubs,” Kelsier said.

  Clubs stood in the doorway, giving the three of them an impressively disapproving stare. Finally, he hobbled into the room. A thin, awkward-looking teenage boy followed him.

  The boy fetched Clubs a chair and put it by Kelsier’s table. Clubs settled down, grumbling slightly to himself. Finally, he eyed Kelsier with a squinting, wrinkle-nosed expression. “The Soother is gone?”

  “Breeze?” Kelsier asked. “Yes, he left. ”

  Clubs grunted. Then he eyed the bottle of wine.

  “Help yourself,” Kelsier said.

  Clubs waved for the boy to go fetch him a cup from the bar, then turned back to Kelsier. “I had to be sure,” he said. “Never can trust yourself when a Soother is around— especially one like him. ”

  “You’re a Smoker, Clubs,” Kelsier said. “He couldn’t do much to you, not if you didn’t want him to. ”

  Clubs shrugged. “I don’t like Soothers. It’s not just Allomancy—men like that…well, you can’t trust that you aren’t being manipulated when they are around. Copper or no copper. ”

  “I wouldn’t rely on something like that to get your loyalty,” Kelsier said.

  “So I’ve heard,” Clubs said as the boy poured him a cup of wine. “Had to be sure, though. Had to think about things without that Breeze around. ” He scowled, though Vin had trouble determining why, then took the cup and downed half of it in one gulp.


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